God Doesn’t Grade on a Curve

I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
ROMANS 8:38–39

When we were kids, for many of us life seemed to spin on a cycle of rewards and punishment. Life was performance based. If we got straight A’s or hit the home run, we could go out for ice cream or on that camping trip with the Boy Scouts. If we struck out in a relationship or failed a friend or embarrassed our family, we were grounded. It was as if love would be given and withdrawn like the movements of the tide. It was about what we did more than who we were. It was only natural to assume God worked the same way. Do good things and succeed and you receive love and approval from God. Mess up and love is withdrawn.

If only we could remind ourselves more often that God never cares about the grades on our report cards. He wants us to make it all about His love, not our performance, and He’s a whole lot more concerned about our character than our accomplishments. He doesn’t find joy in our success; He delights in our attempts.

God’s response to our success is love, not merely approval. And God’s response when we fail is massive love. Nothing will separate you from His love. Money and big houses and status aren’t what God offers us if we behave ourselves, and He doesn’t punish us with loss or sickness when we make a mess of things. Are there consequences when we fail? You bet. Often, in fact; but one of them isn’t that God pulls away. The opposite occurs. He draws close to us. He wants us to put our passion into action because He knows it is in our pursuit of Him where we’ll find our greatest joy. He wants us to be captivated with purpose, regardless of whether it looks like worldly success.

If you find yourself believing God stacks all your successes on one side of a scale and your failures on the other to measure how you’re doing, remember that the only curve He grades on always tips toward His extravagant and inexplicable love.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

%d bloggers like this: